The algebraic approaches only provide an answer to the problem and consequently do not assist students' understanding of the equals sign as an equivalence.

Applets available on the internet and students' calculators can be used to effectively develop students' understanding of the equals sign as an equivalence.

Interpretation of equals Definition Operational The equals sign is interpreted as the 'do something' signal or as now find the answer'.

There are several studies that suggest that a relational interpretation of the equals sign is not ordinarily achieved in the absence of extensive and explicit instruction (e.

The current research examined (a) children's knowledge about equality relationships between symbolically represented numerical amounts, (b) the relationship between this understanding and their interpretation of the equals sign, and (c) changes with age in (a) and (b).

In prior research, children's understanding of equality relationships in symbolic numerical contexts was assessed by examining children's performance on symbolic tasks that included the equals sign; children's interpretation of the equals sign was used as the indicator of their conceptual understanding of an equality relationship.

The Set 1 tasks were used to examine whether the child applied an operator interpretation of the equals sign only, a relational interpretation of the equals sign only, or both interpretations (RQ3).

Two coders determined whether the child used an operator interpretation of the equals sign only, a relational interpretation only, or both interpretations at some point during the tasks.

The interpretations of the equals sign that children applied during the Set 1 tasks, and the percentages of children who applied each interpretation, are shown in Table 12.

In order to examine the relationship between children's understandings about equality relationships between symbolically represented numerical amounts and their interpretation of the equals sign, the relationship between performance on the Set 1 and Set 2 tasks was examined.